Ghosts of Record Stores Past and Present

Much of my youth was spent hunting for and playing vinyl. I have created this site to remember many of the stores I've visited. Don't try and visit them without calling first, as many of them are no longer with us. If I've posted a picture of a store that you want me to delete please let me know and I'll take it down. To see a particular store just open the photo album with its name on it or click on the green (open) or red (closed) marker in the map below. Expanding the map will reveal more stores in the same city.

The site also contains links to interesting articles and information on record shops and record collecting and fine musical suggestions and playlists for your listening pleasure (with You Tube links so you can check them out for yourself). The Playlists can be found by scrolling to a separate section of the index under the heading musical resources. And our latest addition, Song of the Day, a glimpse at what's playing on my stereo today, appears there as well.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Captain Beefheart - Electricity

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is from the mighty Captain (Don Van Vliet) - Captain Beefheart -- Electricity .  A true original.  Go ahead, you describe it.  But once you hear it you won't forget it.  From 1967's Safe as Milk.  With Ry Cooder on guitar. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Song of the Day

Squeeze - Cool For Cats

Today's Song of the Day is Squeeze - Cool For Cats .  New wave pop from the album of the same name.  First released in 1979, from the great song writing team Difford (lyrics) and Tilbrook (music), who would give you many more memorable hits over the years.  (Tempted, Pulling Mussels from a Shell).  This one is sung by Difford, an exception to the rule, in a Cockney accent.  It was a No. 2 hit in England when released.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Joy Zipper - One

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is from Long Island's own  Joy Zipper - One .   From 2008, this is indie pop.  For me, it sounds similar to Death Cab for Cutie's Crooked Teeth - not a bad place to be.  And no, the name is not what you think (you should be ashamed .... ).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Gene Autry - 32 Feet and 8 Little Tails

Song of the Day

Its Christmas, so you have to get a Christmas Song.  So here's
Gene Autry - 32 Feet and 8 Little Tails.    Can you name them all?  Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Action - I'll Keep On Holding On

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is by the English Mod group, the Action - I'll Keep On Holding On.  From 1966, this is Blue-eyed soul, and a cover of a song originally issued in 1965 by the Motown group the Marvelettes.  The video is a clip from the Dick Clark TV show Where the Action Is, with the boys lip-synching the song.

And count Paul Weller of the Jam as a fan, not surprising given his like of things Mod and Soul.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Kim's Video and Music

Kim's Video and Music  East Village, New York City
     Closed - 124 1st Ave. East Village New York

When I originally wrote this in 2013, Kim's was still open.
Last of the Mohicans, Kim's once had 5 other stores.  While it features rare and esoteric videos, it also contains a large selection of vinyl, both new and used.  A listening booth allows you to check the tunes, so long as you don't open the new ones.

Happily picked up Let's Active's Big Plans for Everybody, and the Apromus Compilation, aptly described as Swedish Garage.  Happy Hunting.

Unfortunately, it closed in 2014.  Here's a story that appeared in the Bedford Bowery The Story of Kim's Video and Music, Told By Its Clerks and Customers in August 2014, discussing the history of Kim's stores, and the closing of this last outpost. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Beatles - I Am The Walrus

Song of the Day

Today's song is one of my favorite psychedelic songs of all time, the Beatles I am the Walrus.  From the Magical Mystery Tour album.

Part of the charm of the song are its outlandish surreal lyrics.  John describes the genesis of the lyrics in this book excerpt.  Read it, as it will save you the trouble of trying to figure out what they actually mean!

Unfortunately, the music video the Beatles made to go with this song is not presently available on YouTube, so you'll just have to make do with the music.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dexys Midnight Runners - Geno

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day  is Geno by Dexys Midnight Runners from their first album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels.  From Ireland, this is their first (and best) album, before they broke up the band and went their separate ways.  And this is their first (and best) hit, reaching number one in England, and barely making a splash in the States.  This is ska, with a heavy horn section and soul influence.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

In Living Stereo

In Living Stereo    East Village NYC (Greater Jones)
   Open  2 Great Jones St. NY NY 10012

In Living Stereo Record Store East Village New York City Store Front

A newish record store (is vinyl making a comeback?) that is an adjunct to a high-end stereo store.  Go for the record store experience, where the guy running the store - in this case Ramsey Jones - is playing some cool tunes you don't know (and want) and is happy to tell you about some more.  In this case The Entrance Band - Face The Sun.  Will return.  And will let you know how the other suggestions turned out.

A more in-depth Review of the store from 2Bitmonkey

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Debbie Harry - Strawberry Fields

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is one of my favorite Beatles' covers.  By
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Debbie Harry Strawberry Fields
Ska tinged, highly imaginative reworking of the Beatles' classic.  In Spanish, so be glad you know the words.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Song of the Day

Autour de Lucie - Les Promesses

Today's song is French Alternative from Autour de Lucie Les Promesses  From 1998's Immobile, Valerie Leuilliot sings (well) and Olivier Durand plays (well).  Dream pop in a minor key with just enough edge in the guitars.  Sorry about the end of the video - but its the only one I could find on YouTube.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Song of the Day

Song of the Day

Its not obscure, I haven't unearthed it in some crypt, but I simply was in the mood for the irresistible 1978 hit by Warren Zevon Werewolves of London .  From Excitable Boy, its strictly tounge and cheek, with a bit of immaculate hair thrown in.  Come on, howl with me now .... Ahoooow

Friday, December 6, 2013

dB's - She's Not Worried

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is the dB's She's Not Worried  from the criminally underappreciated album Stands for Decibels.  From 1981, the dB's first album was released only in Europe (despite the fact they came from the US).  To me, a mix of British Psych and pop on this one.  If you like this one, explore the album, especially Black and White and Dynamite.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Best of Lists

Best Of Lists

If you've found this site, you are into exploring.  You go to record stores not knowing what you're going to buy, but to see what is interesting, what you might discover that you haven't heard before.

If you've come this far, care to go a little farther?

In addition to the various books (quite good) listed on my Record Reviews post, another way is to explore 'best of' lists - and particularly best of lists by a genre you want to explore.

In my never ending quest for new music, here are some best of lists I have found in my travels - happy hunting.

100 Greatest Blues Albums from Digital Dream Door

List Combining 10 Best of The Blues Lists

Top 25 Jazz Albums of All Time from the Jazz

500 Greatest Albums of All Time from Rolling Stone Magazine

Best Tropicalia Albums from Sounds and Colours

Best 40 Psychedelic Albums from the Active Listener

Nick Wall's 66 Greatest Rough Raw Garage Rock Tunes of All Times
  even the comments have good tunes!

Best Songs of the 1930s from Digital Dream Door

100 Greatest One Hit Wonders from VH1

50 Greatest One Hit Wonders from

A Compilation of All Music's 5 Star Albums of the 2000s from the Attack Zone

Q Magazine's 100 Greatest Albums Ever  (a list that moves past the 60s)

100 Best New Wave Songs from Digital Dream Door

More to come.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Song Of The Day

Conqueroo - Passenger

Bad ass Texas hard Psych, with a sneering fuzz lead guitar courtesy of Charlie Pritchard .  You can hear it here on You Tube .  Never put out a proper album, but had a tape of their live show turned into an album long after the fact - At the Vulcan Company, a club in Austin. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Flea Markets

Flea Markets

Every record collector hopes to find the 'big one' for a buck lying in a crate somewhere where no one else has looked.  Often that takes you to a flea market, in the hopes that amid the Barbara Streisand, Herb Albert and Ferante and Teicher you'll find that great record you're looking for.

Here are some photos of three flea markets I visited in the quest - one of which actually produced the record shown below.  Make sure you bring the tool of the trade - your battery powered portable record player.

Somewhere in Maine on Rte. 1.  He'll be happy to play it for you.

Here's another one in Brooklyn - the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene (sorry there were no naked girls)

And elsewhere on the stoops of Brooklyn

And here's the find - would you have picked it up?

Tools of the trade

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Los Salvajes - Es la Edad

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is great latin garage punk from the mid-60s.  Los Salvajes (the Savages) were from Barcelona, Spain and cut this track in 1966.  Los Salvajes - Es la Edad (It's The Age) is a beat band moving to punk - there's harmony from the lead singer, but a great fuzzed out guitar solo, and the obligatory snarling scream.  It can be found on the great latin garage comp Los Nuggetz.  Added bonus - the video has quite the collection of 60s record covers of Spanish Ye-Ye groups. 

Eat your heart out - I bought the original ep on a trip to Barcelona.  Here's a picture of the cover.

Related image

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bull City Records, Durham, North Carolina

Bull City Records, Durham, North Carolina
    Open - 2600 Hillsborough Rd., Durham NC 27705 

A long time ago and many moons I went to Duke.  This store was not there then, but it is now (along with my son who's also going to Duke) so we stole a few moments.  A good selection with a lot of newer vinyl.  Picked up some good stuff and heard about some more.  Highlights included the New Pornographers - Mass Romantic, Muck and Mires - A Cellarful of Muck (garage revival), Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts, Rights Words Right Action and Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing.  Worthy of a visit.

Bull City Records - Durham North Carolina - Store Front

Here's an article that appeared in Indy Week in August 2016 A Decade In Bull City Records Keeps Booming interviewing the owner of the store Chaz Martenstein, about his store and its history.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jack's Rhythms New Paltz NY

Jack's Rhythms, 54 Main Street, New Paltz NY 12561-1522

Another of New Paltz's finest.  Lots of vinyl, nice selection.  Ask and he shall play too - or you can listen for yourself.

Here's an article that appeared in Daily Freeman Lifestyle in September 2014 Mid-Hudson Valley Record Stores Experiencing Vinyl Revival interviewing the owners of both Jack's Rhythms and Rhino.

Jack's Rhythms New Paltz NY - Store Front

Rhino Records New Paltz New York

Rhino Records - 3 Church St.  New Paltz NY  12561

Finally made it to Rhino in New Paltz.  Too many records, so little time.  And imagine, New Paltz a really small town, still has three record stores (ok maybe only 2 and 1/2).  But enough to keep you away from the mountains for awhile.  And while you're there, say hello to Pee Wee.

Finally made it to Rhino in New Paltz.  Too many records, so little time.  And imagine, New Paltz a really small town, still has three record stores (ok maybe only 2 and 1/2).  But enough to keep you away from the mountains for awhile.  And while you're there, say hello to Pee Wee.